Story submitted by Pasture Pals Equine Rescue 

If you visit Pasture Pals Equine Rescue, you will meet Eli. You will also remember Eli. He may be one of the most memorable resident’s we have…partially because of his HUGE personality and probably also because of his HUGE size. Eli is a mammoth donkey. Mammoth donkeys aren’t very common, but we happen to have two of them at PPER. Eli was not in good shape when he arrived at PPER. His hair was matted and filled with lice, and he had summer sores and bleeding bald spots. He was very overweight and afraid of all kinds of things (spray bottles, scissors, noises etc).

Because of Eli’s age and lack of training, he will probably not be a working donkey anymore, but he definitely gets around the farm to visit everyone. Part of Eli’s weight problem is because he eats all the food he can find. When we are feeding with a wheelbarrow, he follows behind the person pulling the wheelbarrow eating out of it, while they walk. He will finish all his friends’ leftovers, and he loves almost every snack. We have offered our residents many different kinds of produce through a donation program with a local produce company. Eli has eaten pretty much everything we have ever offered to him. He really loves horse cookies, too. On our Open House days, Eli usually strolls through the yard begging people for treats and sometimes pushing them around to get what he wants.

We have recently had to put him in a pasture or stall during feeding time, when he is being too pushy, and when we are working on setting boundaries with him. He is a really big boy, though, at almost 16 hands tall, so sometimes he’s a little hard to work with. When he first came to us, he knew nothing of walking on a lead and was afraid of being groomed, but he has made HUGE improvements!!!

He will now stand for a solid 45 minutes or more with no halter and no lead rope and just let you groom him and love on him (as long as there are no cookies around). His skin and hair are completely healed and he looks and feels so much better than when he arrived. Eli needs to keep working on boundaries and getting used to his lower calorie diet to continue his path to being a healthier donkey. People who meet Eli don’t forget him. He’s pretty unforgettable because of his unique look, and his treat-loving nature. Most of our guests who visit Pasture Pals have never seen a mammoth donkey and will even come back just to see him, so it has been a fun experience to help them learn about something new to them.

Pasture Pals Equine Rescue 

Founded by Alex Daniels; Pasture Pals Equine Rescue, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit Rescue located in Clayton, NC. Pasture Pals is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and re homing of equines, as well as the education of people in the their care and upkeep.

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